Not Underground Anymore
♦Tripwire Senior Editor ANDREW COLMAN reports on the recordbreaking sale of a Robert Crumb Fritz The Cat piece of original art…
All the talk prior to the current Heritage auction had been about the sale of the Edgar Church copy of Suspense Comics 3, featuring one of the most celebrated covers of the Golden Age, a classically lurid piece from the legendary Alex Schomburg. However a cover of a Fritz The Cat collection by underground cartoonist Robert Crumb completely upstaged that artefact, selling for more than any other comic-related art page on Heritage, bar one by Frank Frazetta.
Despite underground comics being treated as a sideshow by historians since their late 60s heyday, Crumb’s work during that period and beyond has become transcendent in the marketplace, the artist feted as the Pieter Brueghel of the late 20th century by the intelligentsia and a focal point of wider pop culture by fans. The Suspense Comics 3 sold for $263,000, while the Fritz The Cat cover sold for $717,000 (both prices including the buyer’s premium). Hail to the Crumb!